Best Ballet - 2004
Divergence Houston Ballet is under construction while it morphs from longtime director Ben Stevenson's baby into a balletic butterfly, compliments of new artistic director Stanton Welch. His restaging of an earlier work, 1994's Divergence, blew the doors off the Wortham Theater Center and had balletomanes howling for weeks. Sandwiched into a rep evening earlier this year, the short, abstract work was a fast-paced, in-your-face classical ballet romp -- with black bustiers and rubberized tutus by Vanessa Leyonhjelm -- that sent ripples of hope through the dance crowd. Set to music by Bizet, the piece showcases Welch's dancemaking talents at their finest and most forward-reaching.